Published by Popular Woodworking Books, Ohio USA
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 186
The manager of one on-line business described it as being like a farm stall on a country road. Passing trade is too small for it to survive, so it needs signposts on busy highways to attract new customers.
Stumpy Nubs - real name, James Hamilton - may well be the first in the worldwide woodworking community to write a book to serve as one of the signposts for his on-line store.
Although his presence on the Internet has no direct bearing on a reader's potential benefit from his book, a precis of Stumpy Nubs' story provides some background about how the designs in the book came to be developed.
After 20 years in a family business, snatching only a few hours each week in his workshop, Hamilton began a woodworking firm. He did not, however tread the familiar path of becoming a furniture maker, but chose to help people make their woodworking dreams come true.
In his own words: 'I build workshops. I teach people how to create a woodworking wonderland with little more than a small space and a smaller budget. I show regular woodworkers how a basement, garage, shed or patio can become a fully functional furniture factory (or just a laid-back, sawdust-on-the-floor man-cave to while away a weekend)’.
The 12 projects contained in this book are machines and jigs that have been designed so they can be made in the home workshop. They are part of a wider range of plans that is marketed through the Stumpy Nubs website. The fact that purchase of the book may lead readers to not only undertake its projects, but also to go on to look for others that are similar, is the stated reason for the book’s existence.
The structure of each of the machines is fabricated from plywood - usually 3/4" and 1/2" thick. Plywood of these substantial thicknesses is regularly used for DIY projects in the United States, but it has never been adopted to the same degree in this region. However, the material is not particularly difficult to obtain, nor is it significantly different in cost here compared with the US, so neither of these factors should be an impediment to the making of the machines in the book.
The first project is a bench mounted Router Table which has an unusual sliding table (approx: 600mm x 550mm) and a half dozen drawers for router bits.
Project 2 is a Multi-Function Router Lift. This can be used as a stand alone mini router table or as part of a larger table where it would serve as the mechanism for conveniently raising or lowering the router.
The third project is a micro-adjustable router table fence. This is an ingenious device that utilises a threaded rod to provide accurate and repeatable movements of the fence. It could, of course, be used on many router tables other than the one described in Project 1.
These three projects are typical of the others in the book, in that they include more than normal functionality - features that extend their capacity to perform their basic purpose.
All are treated in a similar manner, with clear step-by-step instructions illustrated by photos and line drawings.
The remaining projects are a Benchtop Jigsaw, Multi Function Downdraft Table, Shop Vacuum Cyclone, Crosscut ‘Super Sled’, Dual Stage Drum Sander, 24" Bandsaw, Table Saw Fence, Sliding Crosscut Table and a Table Saw Workstation.
While the book should appeal to anyone who is budget conscious, several of the projects are also likely to interest those who already have a well thought out workshop.
Photos & Illustrations: Colour
Units of Measurement: Imperial
Router Table Fence